Sri Lanka mulls support for desiccated coconut exporters

Dec 04, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Plantations Industries Ministry is considering giving an export rebate to desiccated coconut product exporters, a senior official said. Duty on edible oil imports was raised to protect coconut oil millers, who were otherwise unable to compete with cheap edible oil imports.

Higher demand from coconut oil mills pushes up the farm gate price of raw coconuts, ensuring better returns to cultivators.

But it also pushes up the price of raw nuts bought by DC millers. Ministry Secretary Indrani Sugathadasa said exporters are demanding a rebate to help cope with high cost of production and overseas competition from cheaper origins.

A high import tax on palm oil imports, imposed to protect coconut growers, has pushed up the price of raw nuts which has raised the raw material costs of DC exporters.

“So they are asking for a rebate, which we are considering,” she told LBO.

“DC exports have fallen because our cost of production is high.”

The main competition comes from Vietnam which is exporting desiccated coconut at cheaper prices than Sri Lankan exporters making it difficult for them to compete in international markets